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When a restaurant group spends more than $6.5 million on its buildout, you’d think it would want to make sure the floors don’t creak. But at Stephen Starr‘s new French brasserie Le Diplomate, the floors make noise on purpose.

Shawn Hausman Design’s Jessica Kimberly and Shawn Hausman, who’ve designed top restaurants and hotels across the country, took inspiration from the old wooden floors of the upper dining room in a small bistro they stumbled upon in Paris. They worked with Brookyln-based Tall Cotton Supply, which specializes in reclaimed flooring, to replicate the pattern and finish from the Parisian bistro using recycled wood from barns, churches, and elsewhere in the area.

“It’s good that it shifts a little bit,” Kimberly says. “We want the authenticity. We don’t want it to be perfect.”

Kimberly says Hausman tries to design spaces for blind people. “It’s not just about how it looks,” she says. “It’s about how it feels. It’s about how it sounds.”

Photo courtesy Dusty Lockhart